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New 'evolutionary oddity' revealed in the bizarre deep-sea bone worm saga

bone worm.

A male Osedax priapus, or bone worm.
The saga of the Osedax "bone-eating" worms began 12 years ago, with the first discovery of these deep-sea creatures that feast on the bones of dead animals. The Osedax story grew even stranger when researchers found that the large female worms contained harems of tiny dwarf males.

In a new study published in the Dec. 11 issue of Current Biology, marine biologist Greg Rouse at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and his collaborators reported a new twist to the Osedax story, revealing an evolutionary oddity unlike any other in the animal kingdom. Rouse's collaborators included Nerida Wilson (formerly based at Scripps and now at the Western Australian Museum), Katrine Worsaae of the University of Copenhagen, and Robert Vrijenhoek of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Examining bone worms collected at 700 meters (2,296 feet) depth by an MBARI remotely operated vehicle, Rouse observed a surprising new type of Osedax species. Females of the new species are roughly the same size as their previously studied relatives, but males are tens of thousands of times larger than those of other Osedax worms, and are roughly the same size as the females.

Comment: There seems to be an increasing number of bizarre, odd (perhaps even mutated species), previously unknown and mysterious creatures being discovered recently, together with increases in abnormal animal and marine behavior also. All over the world such 'strange' and 'unusual' incidents are quickly becoming the norm, as are mass fish die offs this year too.

Are these more 'signs of the times'? If so, what do they mean?
The fact remains that there is a lot of hard evidence suggesting that, far from 'global warming', we're already in the process of entering a new ice age (which could end up being a lot bigger than the last one), accompanied by increasing cataclysmic activity such as major destructive storms, earthquakes, and volcanism, among other 'anomalous' goings-on all over the planet. So no wonder the animals are behaving strangely. Maybe they're trying to tell us something important. The question is, is anyone listening?
Creatures from the deep signal major Earth Changes: Is anyone paying attention?

Wolf

Villagers in Kazakhstan use 'guard wolves' for protection


Mr Zhylkyshybay says he takes his wolf, Kurtka, for walks through the village
Villagers in Kazakhstan are increasingly turning to an unusual animal to guard their land - wolves, it's been reported.

"You can buy a wolf cub for just $500 (£320), they say, and hunters are adamant that if treated well the wild animal can be tamed," the KTK television channel reports. Nurseit Zhylkyshybay, from the south-eastern Almaty region, tells the channel he bought a wolf cub, Kurtka, from hunters three years ago, and the animal is perfectly happy wandering the yard of his house. "He's never muzzled, I rarely put him on a chain and do take him for regular walks around the village. Our family and neighbours aren't scared of him at all," Mr Zhylkyshybay insists. "If the wolf is well fed and cared for, he won't attack you, although he does eat a lot more than a dog."

Fish

New bizarre-looking species breaks record for world's deepest fish


Aberdeen University researchers have set a new record for the deepest fish ever found (shown in red ring)
A never-before-seen fish has been caught on camera, setting a new depth record in the Pacific Ocean.

The world's deepest fish was captured on camera at depths of 8,145 meters (26,700 feet) in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. The newest discovery breaks a depth record set in 2008 by nearly 500 meters (1,640 feet).

The previously unknown creature, believed to be a snailfish, was filmed several times floating along the sea floor. It is a white translucent fish with an eel-like tale and wing-like fins.

Binoculars

Snowy owl sightings on the rise across the upper US

If you have a passion for birds or even if you're so-so about them, you're going to love this. All the indicators are present telling us this year is going to be witness to another snowy owl eruption across the upper United States. That means for us up here on the Range, too!

Last year, 2013-2014, we saw what was possibly the largest eruption of snowy owls during the last century. This year could be even better. There have already been 44 snowy owls reported in Minnesota alone.

There are different theories on why Snowy Owls leave the Arctic. Some believe that due to such great nesting success, a shortage of food forces the younger owls to leave the area in search of better hunting territories. Others believe the younger owls leave because they have not perfected their hunting skills yet and would not be able to survive competing among older, wiser owls. No matter the reason, what this really means to most of us is this will be a great winter to get out and see one of these beautiful visitors from the Arctic Tundra.
Binoculars

Rare Arctic gyrfalcon seen in Madbury, New Hampshire

© Hanne & Jens Eriksen/VIREO
Gyrfalcon travels south from normal Arctic range

The largest of the falcons, a rare gyrfalcon, was seen in Madbury during the past week, according to the Audubon Society's rare bird alert.

Fast like a peregrine falcon and wearing a faint mustache, gyrfalcons live in the Arctic.

According to the Peregrine Fund, the birds of prey are very sensitive to changes in the environment.

The group said pesticides, loss of habitat or a decrease in prey can affect populations of gyrfalcons.
Snowflake Cold

30 die as cold wave hits north India

© AFP Photo
An Indian local walks with his yak at Kufri, near Shimla, India, on December 13, 2014.
In some of the heaviest spells of snowfall Uttarakhand has seen in recent times, 30 people, according to the State Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, have died in the hills in the last two days.

Himachal Pradesh also recorded heavy snowfall. The icy winds coming from these hill region swept Uttar Pradesh as well, leading to drop in temperatures. Lucknow was coldest in UP with minimum temperature 6.6 degrees Celsius.

People woke up to foggy morning in Lucknow. However, strong winds cleared sky by 9 am. These winds also kept mercury low during the day. The maximum temperature despite bright sunshine was 21.5 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal. On Thursday, maximum and minimum temperature is expected to be around 21 and 7 degrees Celsius respectively. In the coming days, the Met officials said that the night temperatures would drop below five degrees Celsius.

Cloud Precipitation

US: Northwest storms bring heavy rain, strong winds through Christmas; blanket interior West with snow

As the train of storms from the Pacific Ocean continues, rounds of rain and mountain snow will fall on areas from the Northwest to the Intermountain West and Rockies through Christmas Day.

A strong storm will affect the Northwest this weekend with gusty winds, heavy low-elevation rain and high-elevation snow.

A second storm will roll ashore on Tuesday with falling snow levels in the Northwest and heavy snow farther inland in the West.

Northwest Storm to Unleash Heavy Rain, Strong Winds This Weekend

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada, "The worst conditions this weekend will hit from the Cascades to the Pacific coast."

A general 4-8 inches (100 to 200 mm) of rain will fall from the upper Oregon coast to Washington's Olympic Peninsula and the southwestern part of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

A general 2-4 inches of rain are forecast along Interstate 5, from Eugene and Portland, Oregon, to Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Similar rainfall with locally higher amounts are possible along the west-facing slopes of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington.

Enough rain will fall to raise the risk of mudslides and flash and urban flooding. Small stream flooding is possible due to melting snow and heavy rain on the intermediate elevations of the Cascades.

Gusty winds will accompany the heavy rain, raising the potential for flight delays and localized power outages.

Comment: Superbomb winter storm predicted for Northeastern U.S. at Christmas

Cloud Precipitation

4 dead and 14,000 evacuated after flooding on the Thailand - Malaysia border

© Bomba Malaysia
Flood evacuations in Kelantan, Malaysia.
Heavy rain and flooding has continued in southern Thailand and is now also affecting areas along the Thailand-Malaysian border. At least 4 states in Malaysia have suffered from severe flooding. Several southern provinces in Thailand have been under water for the last week.

Across the region a total of four people have been reported as killed in the floods and 14,000 people evacuated (12,000 in Malaysia). Two people remain missing in the floods in Thailand.

Windsock

Series of fast moving storm systems forecast for British Isles, Northern Europe

A series of fast-moving storm systems will continue the theme of unsettled weather from Ireland and the United Kingdom through northern Europe through Christmas.

While no one particular storm will cause widespread damage or travel disruptions, each will produce showers, gusty winds and put temperatures on a roller coaster ride.

The showers will occasionally occur as or be mixed with snow in the higher terrain of the British Isles, as well as parts of Scandinavia and northeastern Europe.

Gusty winds will howl even when dry weather prevails, especially near the coastlines.

The next storm AccuWeather meteorologists expect to bring significant impacts will make its presents felt Sunday night and into Monday as low pressure develops in Scandinavia.

This storm system will first increase winds across the United Kingdom and Ireland on Sunday and Sunday night. Gusty winds will become more widespread on Monday as blustery conditions advance across much of northern and eastern Europe.

Not only will this bring system bring windy conditions, there will also be rainy conditions along the length of a frontal boundary across the region. Snow and ice is expected in eastern Europe as moisture pushes into colder air.

Comment: It's kind of interesting that Donbass is left out of these storms...

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.7 strikes the Basse-Terre island in Guadeloupe

basse terre, guadeloupe
A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the Basse-Terre island of the France's Guadeloupe archipelago in the Antilles on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It said the quake's epicenter was located three miles (4.8 km)northwest of Lamentin on Basse-Terre and was 69.5 miles (111 km)deep. It struck at 3:49 p.m. (1949 GMT)
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